It certainly has been rainy and wet these last few weeks of summer! And all that rain has softened the ground, generally making trees more vulnerable to falling over and damaging property. All it takes is a strong wind gust! So the question arises: when Mother Nature unleashes her fury, who pays for a fallen tree?
It’s Where the Tree Falls That Determines Who Pays
McClain Insurance Services has written an excellent article to answer this question. But the highlights generally revolve around several scenarios.
Scenario #1: Your tree falls on your house
If your tree falls on your house, your homeowner’s policy will provide coverage for any damages up to your policy limits (after you pay your deductible.) This coverage extends to cover damage to your main home, garage, shed or other additional buildings, and structures such as a fence. If there is damage to a structure, debris removal is also covered, up to policy limits.
However, if your tree comes down in your yard during a windstorm without causing any damage to your house or structures, your homeowner’s policy will not pay for debris removal. You are responsible to take care of the removal of the tree.
Scenario #2: Your tree falls on your neighbor’s house
If your tree falls on your neighbor’s house, the basic (and almost always applied) rule is that the insurance policy of the property that was damaged pays for the loss. In other words, if your tree falls on your neighbor’s house, your neighbor’s homeowner’s insurance covers the damage to your neighbor’s house.
Scenario #3: Your neighbor’s tree falls on your house
As in Scenario #2, the policy of the damaged property pays. So, if your neighbor’s tree falls on your house, your homeowner’s insurance applies.
Scenario #4: You are upset because your neighbor’s tree that fell on your house was old and weak, and the damage could have been avoided (you think)
Allow us to start with a disclaimer. This scenario is extremely rare!! If your neighbor has a tree that seems diseased, express your concerns to your neighbor. Tell them that you feel that your home is in jeopardy of being damaged. But keep in mind that a person can’t be forced to remove a tree.
If you have serious concerns about your safety, you may wish to get the tree evaluated by a professional and then send a certified letter to your neighbor requesting the removal of the tree. This will put your insurance company in a stronger position to argue your neighbor’s negligence in the event of a claim.
Source: McClain Insurance Services
Pay Attention to Your Yard
Assessing the health of your trees and limbs involves effort on your part. Examine the trees in your yard, at least on a monthly basis. And follow tips and guidelines from professional organizations and websites like Tree Care Tips. At the first hint of disease or damage, call a professional tree service provider to take a closer look and offer recommendations before trouble occurs.
Call Axemen for Tree Trimming, Removal and More
If you haven’t had a professional tree inspection in the last few years, call Axemen Tree Service for a professional review of your trees. Axemen brings quality tree care service to your GA home. We are your tree service experts serving Woodstock, Marietta, East Cobb and Roswell.